The number of parents buying alcohol for their underage children has nearly halved since 2007, a new study has found.
Researchers from the University of Queensland’s Centre for Youth Substance Abuse Research studied national and drug and alcohol surveys from 1998 to 2013.
In 2007, 22.4 per cent of underage drinkers were given alcohol by their parents. By 2013, that number had nearly halved, falling to 11.8 per cent.
Correspondingly, the number of 14 to 17-year-olds who identify as non-drinkers has doubled, going from 30 per cent in 2001 to 60 per cent in 2013.
The percentage of teens drinking weekly has also dramatically reduced in a similar timeframe. In 2008, one in five adolescents was consuming alcohol weekly, but by 2013 just one in 20 were drinking weekly.
Why such a big change? It’s to do with lifestyle, study leader Adrian Kelly, an Associate Professor at the University of Queensland, says.
“Kids today also have a bit of a healthier culture than previous generations, which naturally results in lower rates of underage drinking,” he told aww.com.au.
“There has been a huge focus on educating adolescents about the risks of alcohol consumption, which has led to less underage drinking and less pressure on parents to supply alcohol.”
Parents have also been the target of government campaigns which have aimed to educate them about the risks of supplying alcohol to young people.
“This has made parents much more aware of the risks, and they’re tightening up,” Kelly said.